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25% of female inmates engaged in prostitution

Every fourth woman in Sweden's prisons has at some point in her life been engaged in prostitution, Sveriges Radio's Ekot news service reported on Monday.

In addition, one out of 10 female inmates are vulnerable to become victims of human trafficking, according to a study by the Prison and Probation Service, Ekot reported.

Around 300 women are in prison in Sweden every year. Jenny Yourstone Cederwall, who conducted the study, told the programme that many of those who have sold sex frequently early in life have been sexually abused.

“These women have often early in their lives been victims of sexual abuse to a greater extent than female criminals in general,” Yourstone Cederwall told Ekot. “They also have more difficult addiction abuse problems, for example.”

As such, it is important to develop treatment programs to help them. This is the first time that the service has examined the female prisoners’ backgrounds. The hope is that the study will lead to better treatment programs for female inmates.

According to Yourstone Cederwall, it is important to distinguish these women from male inmates as well as other female prisoners, for their needs regarding assistance and rehabilitation are different.

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Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion

A Swedish man who sent bills to thousands of alleged porn surfers and threatened to publish their names if they failed to pay has been sentenced to two and a half years' jail for extortion.

Swedish man locked up for porn surfer extortion
A Swedish man has been sentenced to prison. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/SCANPIX

The 42-year-old, who had acquired the Swedish rights for streaming videos on a foreign website, sent bills to people he claimed had watched the clips, demanding payment ranging from tens to hundreds of euros.

For those who refused to pay, he raised the amount and threatened to call the police or publish their names on an online “porn blacklist” detailing which videos they had watched and then refused to pay for.

He admitted to 31 cases of aggravated extortion and to 526 cases of attempted extortion. The offences took place in 2012 and 2013.

“The district court has determined that the plaintiffs were subjected to aggravated extortion in the cases where it is proven that they received a bill of this kind,” a court in Malmö, southern Sweden, said in a statement on Monday.

The man told the regional daily Sydsvenskan in 2013 that he had earned millions of kronor (hundreds of thousands of dollars) legally through his website from users who had agreed to the prices mentioned in its terms and conditions.

Although users never left their contact details on the site, he was able to trace them through a list of IP addresses he bought from Sweden's largest internet service provider.